I got a green light from my Dear editor Christian,to present you with the one page from the upcoming Lightning Thief graphics novel project.
The page is unfinished(it still needs Jose Villarrubia's impressive colors,and the lettering of course)!!
But i am really glad i could show this piece of art,which is a part of my beloved scene of the book.
I used mainly brushes(only winsor and newton seria 7),chineese ink,with some watercolor effect in the background.As i am an dols chool guy in the art,all of my technics has done with hand,without any computer help.
So,enjoy this page,hopefully soon i can post more and more,and of course thanks a lot to my genious assistant,Orpheus Collar for the great layout of this page!
ps: and below you can read a sweet interview with me what was posted in a hungarian site Index,last sunday.
i talk a lot about the Percy JAckson graphocs novel,so i hope you will find it interesting.
Thank you for Gyula Szűcs because of the this interview.
Disney, which recently purchased Marvel, will publish a graphic novel based on the novel Percy Jackson & the Olympians, Book One: The Lightning Thief, which itself was just adapted into a feature film from Fox. The drawer, who has attended the comic school in Florance, is the fantasy, and horror fan Attila Futaki. After the premier of the movie we interviewed him about the American comic-industry in one of his favorite pubs in Budapest.
Will the comic be published at the same time as the movie?
No, the book comes out on October 19th, 2010 to coincide with a new series by Rick Riordan, who wrote all of the Percy Jackson books. Rick and Percy Jackson have an enormous fan base, so we have high hopes for the comic as well. It's a fantastic feeling that hundreds of thousands of fans are waiting for my work, and that I have been able to give something to an excellent fantasy world. All my friends and family think, that this contract from Disney Hyperion Books is the wonderful success story of an Eastern European guy, who was in the right place at the right time. But determination and hard work were more important than luck. I don't just dream about becoming a successful comic drawer, I worked very hard for it.
Would you move to the US?
Int the summer I will probably spend a lot of time in the US, but I wouldn't like to move anywhere permanently. Resting in some of my favorite cities gives me just enough inspiration, to carry on working at full capacity, when I come home.
Would you take on the other volumes of the Percy Jackson series?
Sure, but I think it's a little early to talk about that. After we're finished with the first volume of Lightinig Thief, I'd like to return to my abandoned horror comic, expected to be 46 pages long. I like to change styles; after a scenic fantasy it will be good to work on a Lovecraftian comic, with more closed spaces, and without such strict deadlines.
Is the foreign comicbook industry so rough?
No, if you keep yourself to the three basic rules: love the comic, love the comic, and love the comic. You can't do this genre only for the money. If you don't have childish enthusiasm, you're done for. Being professional and meeting the deadlines is one thing, large publishers can sniff it out, if you dont't like the genre enough, since the editors are at the same time the greatest comic fans.
What's an average day like?
I have to draw 22 pages each month. The Lightinig Thief will be 128 pages long, so currently I live on coffe, and only focus on that the stuff looks 100% good. I get up at noon. I take the dog for a walk, drink 3 coffees to gain consciousness. I go over to the studio, I draw until 7 PM and drink coffee constantly. First I throw sketches on the page. I look for references, which I can get in to the composition: helmets, costumes. Or what the top of the Empire State Building will look like. I have detailed pencil drawings, because in my head, I know what it will look like when drawn with ink. In the afternoon, people in the US start their work, I have to reply to their emails, sometimes the editor sends two pages of what I should change on one page. Night shift starts after midnight, I like that the most. I work until 4 AM, at 5 AM I get some proper food, then fall asleep on a movie, and start it all over again at noon. The only time I'll be able to rest, is when the comic gets published
Most successful drawers have assistants. Do you?
Of course, he's a lot of help, I can save a lot of time, thanks to him. When I get the script from the writers, I send it to my assistant in the US, who does the lay-out of the storyboard, the comic strips and the close-ups. Of course I can change these if I want to, but usually there is no need, because the guy is a genius. And he's only 22! I first met him at the Comic Con in San Diego. I saw his storyboards, after that we were in the bar, joking that he should make some for the Lightning Thief as well. He did it by the morning. I called him as soon as I got this job.
How did you get to the Comic Con?
Spiral, which was published by Magvető, was published by Carabas in France. That's where I met José Villarrubia, who is one of the most popular colorists in the comic industry. He's a real big gun: he used to work with Alan Moore, when he did illustrations for his poems. I showed him my drawings, and he said that these were the best one he's seen from me of the ones I have sent him in the last few years. He aided me and was beside me all along, and during the Comic Con he introduced me to Robert Vendetti, the writer of Surrogates. While looking at my portfolio, he was constantly talking about the novel version of Lightning Thief, and that they have been looking for a realistic style drawer for a long time, but they haven't yet found it. Vendetti told me he'd show my drawings to the editor at Disney Hyperion Books, because he's the one who has to decide in the end. I didn't believe I would be chosen, but suddenly they called me, that they needed pilot pages, since Mr. Riordan also thought that my style could bring a lot to the story.
Did you need to keep the visuals of the movie?
No. I have planed my characters long before that. I liked some of the movie's solutions, but they didn't influence me. I stick to my original plans, and remain true to the novel. And there will be a bunch of scenes in the comic, that have been deleted from the movie.
There are a bunch – a fight sequence in St. Louis, a key scene with the Oracle, and some cool stuff with Ares, the God of War, just to name a few. The original novel is full of all these really rich details so I’m having a blast; I enjoy the drawing of fantasy sets. For me it is always important, that the characters don't float in a vacuum. The part with the museum was stricter due to all the geometric shapes, but luckily I was able to do a visual rampage at the Oracle scene, when a terrifying mummy-like creature foretells Percy's future. I love everything that's horror or fantasy, I grew up on the Fighting Fantasy books, the pictures in the City of Thieves and the Haunted House were so good, I craped my pants.
And which comics influenced you most?
Part #2 of Spawn. It opened up my eyes: severed hands can fly around in comics as well! If I look back at it now, it's not much, but after seeing the lame Spiderman and Superman comics published at that time in Hungary it was a joy. I always wanted something darker, and dismal in comics, but I always liked bizarre, and grotesque movies as well. The works of Tim Burton, Polanski, Kubrick, and Lucio Fulci's horrors. I've been feeding off of these ever since, it's a good deal to take some of the close-ups, colours, and moods of directors. The famous drawers who have influenced me were Alberto Brecchia, Das Pastoras and Carlos Nine, painters were Andrew Wyeth and Helnwein. And Juanjo Guarnido drew fantastic animal-headed people in Blacksad.
Guarnido was spanish, yet he became popular in France, like you. Shuold all Hungarian drawers work abroad?
Do they have a choice? In Hungary there is no comic profession, no professional scriptwriters. There are good drawers, but they aren’t professionals, they can’t do 24 pages a month. Even if they could Hungary is lacking the demand for such things, since people think, that comics are a piece of drawn crap. But like the movie industry, this is basic entertainment industry as well. Here, when you buy a ticket to the cinema, you know just what you will get. When it comes to comics, sadly, you don't.
What's the solution?
We must bring up a comic consuming generation. We need online comics on all the news pages, even on Index, something you get right in your face. And after a while, people will get used to it. But here we always try to sell comics as art. We shouldn't force that. 500 copy private publishings are nonsense, because you give half of it to friends and family, and the rest will collect dust in bookshops. We need a popular thing here, something big, which is read by at least 10 000 people.
Do you have something like that?
Unfortunately I can't draw for the Hungaran authors at the moment. I'm very busy nowadays, and in Hungary there aren't enough talented writers neither in films nor in comics. The Hungarian comic indrustry needs much better writers and better stories. If the writers got the point and have learned everything, they could break the rules and save the world.